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Concerts in Chicago in March 2016

Kick off spring at some of the best concerts in Chicago this March, including Carly Rae Jepsen, Beach House and more

Spring may not officially arrive until March 20, but this month's slate of live music is already warming us up and reminding us of days spent at summer music festivals. As bands tour their way to SXSW, we'll be reaping the benefits with a stacked lineup of great shows at Chicago's best rock venues. In March, you'll be able to enjoy the dreamy strains of Beach House, the intoxicating pop of Carly Rae Jepsen and the high-voltage garage rock of Ty Segall. Take a look at our list of upcoming concerts in Chicago in March.

RECOMMENDED: Our complete calendar for concerts in Chicago

Concerts in Chicago in March

Beach House

Dreamy Baltimore duo Beach House pulled double duty in 2015, releasing two albums stuffed with twinkling synths, hazy guitars and Victoria Legrand's booming vocals. While Depression Cherry and Thank Your Lucky Stars operate as distinct song cycles, the albums seem like direct reactions to the dense production of 2012's Bloom. Both records strip Beach House's songs down to their essential elements, without losing any of the haunting ambience that charcterizes the pair's output.

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Until Tue Mar 1

Julia Holter

Critics' pick

Combining the avant-gardism of a cutting-edge composer with the emotional resonance of a great singer-songwriter, Julia Holter continued her winning streak with 2015's Have You In My Wilderness. Combining intricate string arrangements, anachronistic harpsichord accompaniment and powerful vocal harmonies, Holter's diverse output is as unclassifiable as it is beautiful. Here, she returns to Constellation for an intimate headlining performance.

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Until Wed Mar 2

Ty Segall

Critics' pick

Psych revivalist Ty Segall didn't release a new solo record in 2015, but he kept busy with side projects (Fuzz), production work (Peacers) and forming new bands (GØGGS). Now the prolific rocker is ready to unveil his latest LP, Emotional Mugger, which was initially delivered to reviewers on a dubbed VHS tape. He's also releasing the sludgy new tracks on more conventional formats, but to truly experience Segall's garage rock genius, you need to seem him (and his band) in concert.

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Until Tue Mar 8

The Who

Critics' pick

Keith Moon died in '78, John Entwhistle in 2002, but that hasn't stopped Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend from singing about their generation. The Who, like Nike, turned 50 years old last year and so the hits are being wheeled out again, in addition to some new material. As long as Townshend's arm can keep windmilling, there's life in them yet. Despite their age, and 50% survival rate, don't underestimate the live show.

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Until Thu Mar 10

Levitation Chicago

Critics' pick

Levitation, the annual psychedelic rock festival that takes place in Austin, returns to Chicago for another miniature edition of the heady event. In 2016, the three-day concert series brings a stacked lineup of artists to Thalia Hall, including German krautrock legends Faust, reunited Washington D.C. punk duo Royal Trux, gothic rocker Chelsea Wolfe and experimental electronic producer Oneohtrix Point Never. The bill also features Earthless, Bitchin Bajas with Natural Information Society, Ryley Walker, Rangda, Blanck Mass, Circuit des Yeux, Eartheater and more.

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Until Sat Mar 12

Leon Bridges

Twenty-six-year-old Leon Bridges’s clear, powerful voice and mastery of ’60s soul and R&B have already earned him the attention of Columbia Records, which signed the Fort Worth native at the end of 2014. He has quickly made his way onto large stages across the country (including a musical guest spot on Saturday Night Live) behind last year's spirited, appealingly retro debut LP, Coming Home.

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11 Mar 2016

Dr. Dog

Taking cues from '60s pop, '70s rock and '90s indie, Dr. Dog has covered a lot of ground in its 16-year career, while simultaneously carving out a reputation as an unswerving live act. After 2013's somewhat uninspired B-Room, the Philly band is reworking and updating songs from its 2001 tape-only debut Psychedelic Swamp. Expect the band to trot out some renditions of its classic lo-fi tunes during its set at the Riviera Theatre. Fellow Pennsylvanian rockers the Districts support.

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12 Mar 2016

Fall Out Boy

Critics' pick

Even if you can't say anything nice about Fall Out Boy, you have to admit that the band's staying power is impressive. At this point in its career, the Wilmette quartet has managed to amass fans that fall into one of two categories: Those who grew up with the group's emo anthems and those who are just discovering its amped-up, EDM-influenced power-pop. Pete Wentz and the gang return to Chicago for a homecoming gig at the United Center. Hordes of screaming teens (and plenty of former teenagers) will be there to greet them. Awolnation and Pvris open the show.

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12 Mar 2016

Carly Rae Jepsen

If there's one thing that music snobs and poptimists can agree on, it's that Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" was an undeniable earworm. Her latest album, E-MO-TION, hasn't yielded a ubiquitous single (yet), but it demonstrates Jepsen's ability to craft versatile pop songs, ranging from modern electro-pop bangers to ’80s-inflected synth anthems.

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12 Mar 2016

Titus Andronicus + Craig Finn

Critics' pick

New Jersey punk rockers Titus Andronicus grapple with manic depression over the course of a 29-song rock opera on its expansive new record, The Most Lamentable Tragedy. Once content to veil his lyrics in Civil War allusions, singer-songwriter Patrick Stickles tackles this very personal subject matter head-on, delivering some of his most impassioned songs to date. The Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn, who opens the show, take a similarly intimate approach on his latest solo LP, Faith in the Future, which explores the experience of moving on after a tragic event. With so much soul-searching taking place onstage, this promises to be one of the most cathartic concerts you'll see all year.

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Until Sun Mar 13

Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour

The Monterey Jazz Festival is an institution, celebrating its 59th year of welcoming some of the best jazz players to a picturesque West Coast city. For those who can't make the trip out to California, the festival is coming to Chicago this year in the form of a touring group of jazz musicians who have previously played the event. The band features Raul Midón on guitar and vocals; Ravi Coltrane on saxophones; Nicholas Payton on trumpet; Gerald Clayton on piano; Joe Sanders on bass; and Kendrick Scott on drums.

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Until Sun Mar 13

Chvrches

Critics' pick

Scottish electropop trio Chvrches caused a serious stir with its debut record The Bones of What You Believe, fusing singer Lauren Mayberry’s vulnerable Glaswegian vocals with shimmering synths. After conquering the summer festival circuit, the group is touring music halls in support of its latest album, Every Open Eye.

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Until Mon Mar 14

Matmos

Critics' pick

As the electronic duo Matmos, Drew Daniel and M.C. Schmidt have made records based on parapsychological experiments and Medieval folk music. The pair's latest album, Ultimate Care II, is named for the Whirlpool washing machine that provided all of the sounds sampled throughout the record. Listen closely and you'll hear manipulated rinse cycles, alarms and sloshing clothes. At this special "in the round" concert, the duo will bring along its laundry appliance for an exceedingly conceptual performance.

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Until Tue Mar 15

Bag Raiders

Critics' pick

Aussie duo Bag Raiders' self-titled 2010 debut was a club DJ's dream, packed with bouncing beats and effervescent synth lines that practically guaranteed a lively dance floor. Now the pair is touring behind a trio of equally buoyant EPs, bringing a new batch of electronic grooves to North American dancehalls. New York selector Plastic Plates opens the show.

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Until Fri Mar 18

Mount Moriah

Founded by folks who played in post-punk and heavy metal bands, Mount Moriah is a calculated left turn into the realm of folk and Americana. The group's latest, How To Dance, blends alt-country twang with upbeat arrangements that accentuate Heather McEntire's crystalline vocals. Indiana folk singer-songwriter Elephant Micah opens the show.

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Until Fri Mar 18

Shearwater + Laura Gibson

Austin, Texas band Shearwater spun out of Okkervil River, but has followed its own path, crafting dense, dramatic music anchored by the commanding vocals of frontman Jonathan Meiburg. The group's latest, Jet Plane and Oxbow, layers synthesizers atop folk melodies, lending its newest batch of songs a stylish, prog-rock flair. New York-based folk singer Laura Gibson opens the show, performing behind her upcoming release, Empire Builder.

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Until Sat Mar 19

Mavis Staples

Septuagenarian gospel legend Mavis Staples has only become better with age, radiating joy and positivity with her comforting vocal presence. After recording two LPs with fellow Chicago-native Jeff Tweedy, Staples latest, Livin' on a High Note, finds her teaming up with M. Ward on a collection of songs written specifically for her by artists like Justin Vernon, Neko Case and Nick Cave. Expect to hear plenty of these specially-tailored tunes at this album release celebration.

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Until Sun Mar 20

José González with yMusic

Critics' pick

The haunting and hushed pop of José González is equally compelling when the Swedish artist is playing by himself or when he's joined by a backing band. On the heels of his 2015 LP, Vestiges & Claws, González hits the road with six-piece chamber ensemble yMusic, who will be lending an avant garde touch to his extensive catalog of songs.

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Millennium Park, Pritzker Pavilion , Loop Monday August 1 2016

Bonnie Raitt

One of the greatest pleasures of each new record by veteran blues-rocker Bonnie Raitt is hearing her take on an unexpected selection of covers. On her latest album, Dig in Deep, the Grammy-winning artist tackles INXS' "Need You Tonight" and Los Lobos' "Shakin' Shakin' Shakes." In concert, Raitt has been known to bust out renditions of Talking Heads and Dylan tunes—who knows what songs she'll trot out at the Chicago Theatre? Arrive early to see Oakland R&B act the California Honeydrops.

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Until Tue Mar 22

Gogol Bordello

Eugene Hütz and his collective of Gypsy punks celebrate the 10th anniversary of the group's 2005 record, Gypsy Punks: Underdog World Strike, with a two-night stand at Metro. Expect to hear plenty of cuts from the album, which draws on folk/polka/hardcore and many other influences. If you've seen Gogol Bordello before, you know how zany these shows can get. Can't get enough of niche genre acts? Self-proclaimed "Russian mafia band" Debauche opens both shows.

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Until Wed Mar 23

Lucius + Pure Bathing Culture

Critics' pick

If you enjoy pristine vocal harmonies and sunny, drum-beating pop tunes, Brooklyn's Lucius might as well be your new favorite band. Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig's latest LP, Good Grief, adds some peppy synths to the group's pounding floor toms and effortless melodies. Portland electro-folk duo Pure Bathing Culture open the show.

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Until Thu Mar 24

Cullen Omori

When Chicago indie rockers Smith Westerns split up in 2014, we knew that it was only a matter of time before the various members began new projects. While the rest of the group want on to form folk rock outfit Whitney, former frontman Cullen Omori is going it alone on a new solo record, entitled New Misery. Bouncy synths and hazy guitar melodies populate this collection of pop-influenced tunes which, naturally, deal with the challenges of starting a new chapter in your life. Manitoba, Canada dreampop act the Living Hour supports.

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Until Thu Mar 24

Ezra Furman

Critics' pick

Ezra Furman is a youthful anachronism: A verbose lyricist marooned in an indie scene tilted toward headphone-friendly noisemakers. On his third solo release, Perpetual Motion People, the Evanston native adroitly conveys what it feels like to be young and adrift in an uncertain world. Like much American pop, Furman's songs stare down adulthood from a post-teen no-man's-land. Jangling St. Louis pop-rock act Sleepy Kitty supports.

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Until Sat Mar 26

Operators

Wolf Parade may be returning from its hiatus this year, but that won't stop guitarist Dan Boeckner from touring with his stuttering, darkly hued synth-pop act Operators. The group's debut record, Blue Wave, hits record stores in April and should sound familiar to anyone who has heard Boeckner's work with bands like Handsome Furs and Divine Fits.

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Until Mon Mar 28

Sheer Mag + Laffing Gas + Mama

Swaggering, defiant riffage packed into compact punk grooves—there's a glut of East Coast groups out there attempting the formula, but none match Sheer Mag's blaring force and arena-sized aspirations. The Philly outfit's latest release, III, expounds upon the band's incisive, anarchic political project as singer Christina Halladay takes on everything from the murders of working class women in Ciudad Juarez to government corruption.

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Until Thu Mar 31

Comments

1 comments
morgan H
morgan H

You should add The Airborne Toxic Event date at Metro (3/17). I can't wait to hear them play songs off their new album, Dope Machines.